Hacking InfoPath

I had a few negative things to say about InfoPath a while back. Today, I finally used it to solve a “real” problem and I was extremely pleased with the result.

I’m working on some team stuff and needed to collect a bunch of info on all my teammates and stick it in an XML file. Traditionally, I’d have to send out email asking everyone to send me this info, then manually cut-and-paste the results into an XML file. Instead, I whipped up an InfoPath form (well, truthfully, I whipped up several – but that’s just because I’m not familiar with the tool) and stuck it on a SharePoint site. Now, all my teammates can go fill out the form and I can merge the results together in one big XML file. All in under an hour, including learning curve. InfoPath even supports pictures, so my teammates can even provide a photo of themselves in the form.

I’m not exactly uninstalling VS.NET, but it’s good to know how well InfoPath hits the mark for target scenarios like this one.